Tottenham Hotspur has played in the Europa League in each of the past four seasons. This year, the goal is once again to reach the top four and clinch a spot in the Champions League.
[ MORE: All of PST’s season previews ]
Spurs finished fifth in the league last season, a position all too familiar to supporters at White Hart Lane. It was Mauricio Pochettino’s first year in charge and fans had high hopes, and if not for the breakout season from Harry Kane, Spurs would have finished much further down the table. Kane’s goals won Tottenham 24 points on the year, more than any other player in the league.
One of Kane’s most memorable goals would have to be his late winner against archrivals Arsenal in the north London derby, one of the biggest rivalries in the Premier League.
Best possible XI:
— Lloris —
— Walker — Alderweireld — Vertonghen — Davies
— Dier — Bentaleb —
— Lamela — Eriksen — Chadli —
— Kane —
Transfers in: Toby Alderweireld ($18 million, Atletico Madrid), Kieran Trippier ($5.5 million, Burnley), Kevin Wimmer ($6.7 million, FC Koln)
Transfers out: Paulinho ($14 million, Guangzhou), Lewis Holtby ($7 million, Hamburg SV), Etienne Capoue ($11 million, Watford), Younes Kaboul ($4.7 million, Sunderland), Benjamin Stambouli ($9.5 million, Paris Saint-Germain)
Last season: Fifth in the Premier League, runners-up in League Cup — In Mauricio Pochettino’s first season in charge at White Hart Lane, Tottenham got off to a slow start while trying to balance the Premier League with the Europa League. But Spurs turned things around after the new year, scoring five goals in a win over Chelsea and beating Arsenal in the north London derby. Despite finishing fifth on the table, Spurs conceded 53 goals, which was the fifth-most in the league. Tottenham just missed out on the Champions League and lost to Chelsea 2-0 in the League Cup final, which would have been Spurs’ first trophy since 2008.
[ MORE: Full schedule for every PL club ]
Star player: Harry Kane — At 21-years-old, Kane scored 21 goals in the league last season en route to being named the PFA’s Young Player of the Year. He tallied 31 goals in all competitions to become the first Spurs player to eclipse the 30-mark since the great Gary Lineker in 1992. Now at the ripe old age of 22, Kane will have to back up last season’s stellar campaign with more goals in north London. While last year Kane came out of nowhere as a relative unknown, he will be a marked man this season with the opposition’s top defenders looking to shut him down.
Coaches’ Corner: Mauricio Pochettino prides his players on being some of the most fit in the league and is known for being great with developing young talent. In his first year in charge of Tottenham, the Argentine instilled his high-pressure, fast-paced attack at White Hart Lane, which can entertain the masses. However, heading into his second year as boss, Pochettino must tighten up the Spurs’ defense if they want a shot at winning some silverware.
PST predicts: While everyone at White Hart Lane will be thinking top-four, it looks like Tottenham may fall short once again. The side struggled to balance the Premier League with the Europa League last season, and this year there will be even more pressure to succeed in both. If Harry Kane goes down, there’s a big question as to where the goals will come from for Spurs.